Mercedes-Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival Set To Raise The Bar Again

Last week, we attended the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival Press & Media Launch, and let me tell you, this year we are in for a real treat! Style icons, fashion aficionados and film fanatics are advised to clear their schedules between the 21-23 April 2016, as the new Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront plays host to the ever glamorous annual Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival.

Now in its third year, and internationally acclaimed as the premier Fashion Film Festival, participants can expect three days of inspiration, education, glitz and glamour, all focusing on the masterful marriage of fashion and film. Budding film directors from the world over are offered a global stage to submit their unique short Fashion Films as well as shooting to the brief of “bespoke” and Mercedes-Benz.


Adrian Lazarus, MD of the Festival comments; “I sometimes pinch myself when I think about my initial idea, which was to create a platform to celebrate the innovation and reach of Fashion Films. The power of this medium and the creative geniuses that I have come across, together with our incredible forward-thinking sponsors have allowed us to turn this Dream into a leading global movement literally overnight.”


“We are delighted to be the title sponsor of the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa International Fashion Film Festival for a third successive year,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“It is exciting and engaging working with Bokeh and their participants, both local and international, as each fashion film is very different; the entrants consistently create appealing cinematography that one hasn’t viewed previously,” adds Govender.

“The awards evening will be the highlight of the festival and our Mercedes-Benz award is a firm favourite at the event. We are seeing a greater number of entrants for this particular award with prize money of $10,000. The synergies between car and designs are evident, as can be seen in these particular fashion films. They are very similar, both are sexy, curvaceous and eye-catching,” added Govender.

“Mercedes-Benz is an icon, and an icon has to be an obsession for more than just the person who loves it. One of the attractions of our brand is that it’s universally loved, and we will experience a festival of glitz and glamour, which our customers will surely appreciate,” concluded Govender.


Also participating in the festival for the third year is the Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC) adding exciting local colour and flavour. The event will run over 3 days, culminating in a glittering Oscar style red-carpet awards ceremony on Saturday 23 April with nominated prizes being celebrated in specific categories. These categories cover all elements of the filmmaking process.


New award categories have also been included this year, including the best Emerging Talent Award, which offers students, start-ups and novices the opportunity to be on an even keel with big budgets, agencies and big brands. There is also the Top Young Designers Fashion Film Award presented by the CTFC. This category features 10 of the top 2015 CTFC graduates. The designers were paired up with young film makers to each make their own fashion film with support and assistance from Bokeh. The winning film will receive R 30 000.00. Bryan Ramkilawan, CEO of CTFC comments, “It’s been only a few years that fashion brands could afford to produce their own films.

To stimulate this and increase local fashion film content, the CTFC are again proud to participate while this year also sponsoring an exciting new talent fashion film competition. Mentoring these young minds will encourage the growth of the Bokeh brand moving forward. Bokeh is more than fashion, it is art.”

Included in the evening will be a spotlight on the exceptional work of acclaimed photographer Rankin whom will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his important contribution to the world of fashion films. Rankin, who forms part of the festival judging panel, is one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers and founder of Hunger Magazine.

The Best Picture award on the night has been generously sponsored by Oude Meeste with the winner receiving a Black Magic Camera, lens and accessories worth over R100 000. We’re excited about our involvement in the worldwide phenomenon of merging fashion and film through the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival. This is a fitting new partnership between our two brands as our brand pillars are fashion and film and we look forward to contributing to the upliftment of creative industries through this.” commented Brand Manager of Oude Meeste, Jerome Adonis.




The grand prize on the night however is the Mercedes-Benz award with the winner walking away with a cool $10 000USD in cash.

The festival however is not only about the glitz and the awards, over the three days there will be screenings of selected fashion films and workshops and talks by leading international and local industry experts in the fashion and film fields. Experts such as; Niccolo Montanari, Co- Founder and Head of Communications at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Einat Dan also from Berlin, award winning make-up artist and body painter as well as Michael O’neill from the UK who will share his expertise as head trainer on Adobe products worldwide. Local representation comes in the form of DJ’s Dino Moran and Craig deSouza who will present a workshop on the magical creativity achieved with musical scores.

2014 Bokeh FFF

Other speakers include; Catherine Scorey – Womenswear Director at Ted Baker UK, Dr Shaun Borstrock Head of Design at the University of Hertfordshire, Luisa Sáenz director at Mexico Fashion Film Festival, Deborah Ferguson from Contentmode, Edward Winters and Ashley Avis-Winters from Los Angeles Winterstone Pictures, Bryan Ramkilawan from the CTFC and Dr. Mark Vella with speaker from 24 Slides.

The three day festival also sees the launch of the Global Fashion Revolution 2016 Campaign. It is a “a global movement that runs throughout the year, celebrating fashion as a positive influence, raising awareness of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues, showing that change is possible – and celebrating those who are on a journey to create a more ethical and sustainable future for fashion.” Says Tammi Nicol – Fashion Revolution Coordinator.

As the festival builds towards its Saturday gala night culmination, the strictly ‘by invitation only guest list’ will include A-list celebrities, industry VIP’s, producers, fashion film models and high society guests. As past experiences will attest, guests can anticipate to experience the unexpected in a carefully choreographed carpet ride of glamour, fashion, fun and extravagance. Included amongst the many distractions, anticipate 3-D printed jewellery and Legacy Collection Jewellery displays. Charmaine Taylor from the Legacy Collection has created a jewelry range from the original fence from Robben Island Prison, the fence that once held Nelson Mandela captive. Legacy Collection will also be displaying a custom made Avant-garde chandelier that will form part of the entertainment.


MAC makeover and Fox Box manicure stations will also ensure attendees remain looking their stylish best throughout the evening. While Café Lux espresso stations, manned by hostesses dressed in custom designs by the Bokeh in-house design team, and Vada by Sivada, will keep guests well caffeinated, animated and engaged.




Local and international media will be present to broadcast the event to a global audience. Leading the line-up is FashionOne, the leading Fashion and Entertainment channel, who is once again proud to be the official TV Partner to the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival for the third consecutive year. They will be beaming the event to over 10 million homes in Africa, and 170 countries globally.


“Being a Television Channel, with Film and Fashion at the core of its business, it made perfect sense and synergy for us to partner and champion local Film makers, the Fashion Industry and viewers to appreciate the art of visual literacy and narrative that film media uniquely offers. We dream before we speak and live in a world where film and video completely surpass all other mediums” states Joanne Raphael-Katz, Fashion One’s local bureau agent. “The event never disappoints, with a superb line up of entertainment, speakers, films, specially invited International and local VIP’s.” says Joanne. “Together with Bokeh, Mercedes Benz, CTFC and Oude Meeste, we are delighted to be in such good company and part of the success.”

         Directors of Life Retreat (Patricia Taylor and Samantha Taylor) With Adrian Lazarus

Stand by to experience a rollercoaster ride into the world of fashion, film and glamour like never before. 

Fashion Films:






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